Monday, 30 April 2012
: Jockey Greg Cheyne was reunited with a galloper he held in high regard in his native South Africa in a semi-feature race at Kranji on Sunday.
| Flying West|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
Riding the Patrick Shaw-trained Flying West
, Cheyne led throughout the 1600m journey of the $150,000 Admiralty Classic Stakes.
Jumping smartly from a wide draw, Cheyne quickly had Flying West
to the head of affairs where he was able to dictate the pace.
Soon after straightening for home on the short-course, Cheyne asked Flying West
for his effort and the gelding quickly beat off his rivals to race away and record a two length victory over Flying Fulton
(Opie Bosson) with Jamal Malik
(Alan Munro) three-quarters-of-a-length away third.Flying West
recorded a time of 1min 38.31 secs for the 1600m journey on a good rated track – almost five seconds outside the track record.
Cheyne revealed he had ridden Flying West
in South Africa for trainer Basil Marcus as a two-year-old and had picked him out as his “Classic” horse the following year.
“Basil had two or three good two-year-olds at the time and this is the one I had picked out as my Classic horse,” said Cheyne.
“But then he started to lose his way a bit. He wouldn't go onto the track and his form started to deteriorate.
“I saw that when he first came here he won three of his first six starts for Basil before losing his way again.”
After a good break, Flying West
was having just his fourth start for new trainer Patrick Shaw after Marcus packed up and returned home to South Africa.
“Pat has done a really good job with this horse,” said Cheyne. “In the 10 or so weeks that I have been here I have seen the improvement in this horse.
“The draw today was a bit of a concern but he let down really well and gave a really good kick.
“I never doubted his class. I just wanted a happy horse going out onto the track and I knew then that the horse would run well.”
Shaw said Flying West
was a difficult horse to train but one that had an enormous amount of potential.
“He won't go onto the main track for his work so we have to send him to the uphill track or to work on Track 7,” said Shaw.
“We knew today that he would be fitter for his recent racing and we thought he would run a good race.
“Greg stole the race on him. He rated him perfectly in front and the horse showed he's got a lot of ability.”
Shaw added that it was the experience of Cheyne to judge the 1600m journey that saw the gelding back in the winner's circle for the first time since February last year.
“He had a run over 1600m two starts back and ran fourth with an apprentice on him,” said Shaw.
“He just went a bit too quick on him that time and had nothing left for the finish. Today he was certainly a lot fitter and ran the journey right out.”Flying West
is owned by The Clever Boys Stable with two of the members – Brian Joffe and Myron Berzack – having feature race success back in South Africa on Saturday.
A six-year-old Australian-bred by Flying Spur
from the Bletchingly mare Boardwalk Angel
, Flying West
has won five of his 20 starts in Singapore with four minor placings and took his prizemoney to around the $350,000 mark for connections with his victory.